Letter: Time for Kamloops to look at reducing tax burden

Editor:

The City of Kamloops has been told in a report from staff that expansion of its tax exemption bylaws “will increase economic opportunities for spinoffs so business such as restaurants, retail trade, etc.”

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It’s designed to promote commercial developments, not major and light industries.

That’s the problem — our city council has no interest in welcoming big business that actually pays people a living wage.

All of the businesses mentioned by staff in its report to council pay basic minimum wage.

People in those jobs can barely afford their rent and food, never mind any other activities.

I would like the city’s director of finance to prepare a report assembling the major industry types (residential, utilities, supportive housing, major and light industry, business, managed forest lands, recreational non-profit and farm).

That data should be compared with similar data in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Chiliwack, Prince George and other similar-sized communities.

I suggest one will see the residential taxpayer in Kamloops shares a higher percentage of the taxes, compared to these other communities.

Some other questions need to be asked, including “How many people/businesses contribute to each industry type?” and “What is their assessed value subject to taxation?”

Our city council needs to focus on attracting more major and light industries These businesses generally pay better than minimum wages.

Once such a report is done, it will be left to city council to prepare an action plan to attract the necessary businesses and to reduce the tax burden on residential homeowners.

Leonard P. Piggin
Kamloops

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